It’s the end of October and our mail is stuffed with catalogs – all sorts of specialty stores and sites vying for my business, carving out their niches in a crowded retail market. The catalog I got this evening, from Sur La Table, raises this niche marketing to a whole new level. At first glance, it’s decorative kitchen gear for people who never ever cook, just like Crate and Barrel and Williams-Sonoma. What do people who drive giant offroad 4x4s in flat paved city want on the counter when they’re pulling the plastic off Lean Cuisine? I don’t know, but it definitely comes from one of these stores. How can Sur La Table possibly compete in the crowded worthless kitchen crap marketplace?
Simple: target the moron market. Offer products for the feeble-minded. The addle-brained. The differently tarded. Somewhere among your family members, co-workers, or friends is a horse’s ass who likes to cook, and for years you’ve struggled with gift ideas. Struggle no more, for Sur La Table is here to help.
For example: let’s assume the imbecile in your life has never heard of Android or Apple or Kindle. Sur La Table has just the thing: a $399 single purpose kitchen tablet. Why would your idiot need the flexibility of a tablet that runs a whole marketplace of apps and costs less? They wouldn’t. Thank God that Sur La Table offers the QOOQ! Looks cool in the kitchen AND has a name reminiscent of a 1950s ethnic slur! Bonus! Imagine the surprised look on guests’ faces when the nitwit says she’s got a QOOQ in the kitchen! I hope that soon there will be 5″ and 7″ versions of the QOOQ called the SPIQ and the QOON. If your family is like mine, it’s just not a holiday without a couple show-stopping racial epithets.
Chuckleheads are always trying to do things themselves. Letting stupid people do things on their own is what got us the Tea Party. Let’s not repeat that mistake. No detail is too small to let some idiot attend to it unaided. Take beverages. What if some moron wants a spritz of lemon in their tea? Sure, they could just cut up a lemon and squeeze it, but they’re IDIOTS. They could cut their finger. They could touch their eye after squeezing the lemon, temporarily blind themselves, fall back in pain, trip over their mini-pin, knock their aroma therapy candle into the curtains, set their house on fire and burn down half a subdivision. Is $14.95 too much to pay to avert tragedy? I think not – so you should absolutely buy the Lekue Citrus Mister! Don’t you feel a little like an idiot yourself for not sticking the top of a hairspray bottle into a piece of fruit and charging fifteen bucks for it? It’s ok – because you probably wouldn’t have thought of the BASE. That’s right -it’s a two piece set. Because you don’t want your moronic friend to rest their plugged lemon on the counter, only to have it roll across the floor and into to their poorly assembled Precious Moments curio cabinet, destroying their collection and sending them into a months-long depressive funk where they will read Dan Brown books and think they’re learning something.
Did you know that if you put liquid in a dish and raise one end the liquid will flow to the lower end? Of course you did, because you have a functional frontal lobe and you listen to TED talks. But what of your lobotomized cousin who can’t figure out how to collect the juices in his roasting pan? Enter the Tovolo Basting Buddy. Sure, those of us getting oxygen north of our necks will recognize this as a 10″ plastic stick. But to a moron, it miraculously directs liquid to the other end of the pan. And is $7 to much to pay to make a miracle for an idiot? Would you pay $7 to show Sean Hannity a laser pointer? I bet you would, and the Basting Buddy is much less likely to blind someone.
What’s your favorite thing about being a primate? Is it stereoscopic vision? Sexual dimorphism? Both are good choices, but for me it’s all about opposable thumbs. The lack of opposable thumbs is almost certainly why my dog is such a terrible cook. You put a bunch of fresh thyme in his paw, and he can’t get the leaves off. I think that idiots, who not only reject the theory of evolution but also the gifts evolution has given them, are a lot like my dog. There’s no way they’re just going to pull a thyme stem twixt thumb and forefinger to get the leaves off. That’s why they need the Chef’n Zip Strip. For just $7.95, your beloved cretin will never have to roll around on the ground trying to hold sage, basil, or mint between their toes and teeth. And isn’t their remaining dignity worth it? Plus, less time rolling around the floor is more time watching UFC.
There’s still some halfwits out there that will pose a challenge to your gift giving skills. I’m talking about your truly simple minded, your daft, your junior senators from Texas. What does Sur La Table offer to that box of rocks? How about a jar of rocks? Specifically God‘s favorite rock: salt. Whereas you could literally buy a box of rocks – a 3 lb package of Morton Salt – for about five bucks, Sur La Table offers “brine” at the completely reasonable price of $7 for 12 ounces. “But wait,” you say, “doesn’t ‘brine’ just mean salt dissolved in water?” You only know that because you watch Rachel Maddow and read Malcolm Gladwell, you snob. Plus, there’s at least a thimble full of other stuff in there. And it comes in a jar that says “urban” on it. In most marketing contexts, “urban” is code for “black,” so some jackass can enjoy feeling less racist by cooking turkey the way black people do. And we all know black people are great cooks — just look at Aunt Jemima and Mrs. Butterworth.
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